Friday, 5 April 2013

Shadowy Swallows

Shadow work Swallows

I'm going to be doing some embroidery and applique workshops at Carlisle Library over the next couple of months as part of the No Borders programme which is running alongside the Outside In exhibition at Tullie House. You can find out more about these and the other workshops on offer over on Prism Arts website.

Detail of small swallow

So, I have been busy stitching up some samples and generally enjoying having a play! On Wednesday I made a piece using shadow applique and shadow embroidery. I can't believe I have never properly explored these techniques before. I love working with transparent and sheer fabrics and layering up work and I almost always use stitch so it is a mystery to me how I have avoided some of the things I tried on Wednesday for so long. However, there is no time like the present so I think it's fairly certain I will be using these techniques a lot more in my work.

Detail of large and small swallow

For the applique I bonded fabrics using adhesive web to the back of a piece of very see through material (some sort of man-made fibre, I bought it from a seconds box ages ago!) I used a navy blue satin for the large swallow and then navy chiffon and net for the smaller ones because the chiffon on its own was too sheer and did not show through enough. I then added the red and white stitch details using herringbone stitch and laced holbein stitch. I worked the embroidery on the back of the work for a more subtle effect on the front. I then outlined the birds on the front of the work with back stitch, blanket stitch and running stitch.

Detail showing bonded fabric and embroidery but not yet outlined

Detail of work from the back (in progress)

Detail of work from the back (complete)

I'm really pleased with how this experiment turned out, I like the delicacy and lightness of the work and the different layers. It is definitely a way of working that I think suits me and my work and I am excited about exploring these techniques further.




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